Health Tip from Soupermom!*
Hello Loyal Soup People! This week, I’d like to chat about portion sizes. As I’ve mentioned in the past, understanding portion sizes is key to preventing weight gain and simply understanding how much food you consume each day. Unfortunately, there are many challenges to understanding how much we eat. A few to look out for:
– It is hard to estimate a “single serving.” When we serve ourselves dinner or a snack, it is difficult to understand what is an “appropriate” amount of food. When items are portioned out for us, we tend to eat whatever is offered. For example, if we buy a soft pretzel, studies show we’ll eat the entire thing at once – whether is a huge one, or a mini-pretzel.
– Container sizes confuse us. When something comes in a large container (i.e. a super-sized bag of chips or even an extra large soda bottle), we tend to help ourselves to more. On the other hand, if something comes in a small package, we’ll portion off less.
– When eating items that come in bite size portions, such as sushi or dim sum, it is very hard for us to gauge how much we’ve eaten.
We also often set traps for ourselves. How many times have you picked at a cookie, “evened out a cake,” or scooped up the crumbs of a casserole and told yourself that the calories don’t count??
The first stop to controlling your portions is to be aware of these obstacles. Of course, eating slowly and listening to your body’s hunger cues is the best strategy. If your body is signalling that it’s full, no need to finish the entire pretzel!
*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!